Got a business letter with this phrase followed by a list of 6 officials, sixth being a president. So I wonder whether it's me who always interpreted this phrase incorrectly (5 members total) or them (6 members)?


Well, this is exactly why the words like "включительно", "включая" do exist - otherwise in some cases there is indeed a disambiguation. The answer to your question is that the phrase "делегация из N человек во главе с президентом" can mean either N or N+1.

To avoid such uncertainty one can say:

  • Делегация из пяти человек вместе с президентом
  • Делегация из пяти человек и президент
  • Делегация из шести человек, включая президента
  • Делегация из пяти человек, не включая президента
  • 3
    Вместо "не включая" в быту обычно говорят "не считая" – Pavel Mayorov Jan 12 '17 at 7:02
  • @PavelMayorov good point! – shabunc Jan 12 '17 at 7:02

It's them, and it doesn't look like an intuitive kind of mistake: by which I mean, it was likely caused by uninformed overthinking on the part of the person that wrote the letter.

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